ITF kicks off two million yearly jobs scheme for youths

unemploymentTHE Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has finalised a structure that will provide two million jobs for Nigerian youths yearly, through its skills acquisition and employment creation programme.

The Director-General, ITF, Mrs. Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko, disclosed at the weekend, that the Fund planned to achieve the feat by collaborating with the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).

She spoke at the unveiling of the ITF-NECA Technical Skills Development Project for Ruff ‘n’Tumble/Betti-O School of Fashion Design, in Lagos.

She said: “The plan is to train two million youths annually and put them to work. Already, we have hit the ground running to ensure that we even do much more. We are also coming up with the youth lounges at all our offices across the nation because we want to better engage the youths.

“If we catch the youths and direct them to focus on productive skills and businesses, we would be doing this country a lot of good.”

According to her, this is in line with the passion of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to reduce the unemployment level in the country through job creation.

She added that the Fund had also concluded a survey to determine the top 100 businesses of interest to youths in a bid to sharpen their skills in preferred areas and also help actualise their goals in the area of providing job opportunities that will benefit both the youths and Nigeria at large.

She applauded the complimentary roles played by NECA, which had created more training facilities across the country using its member-organisations’ training facilities to train the youths.

“What we do is that we reach out to companies that are already contributing to the ITF and have a structured system and a state where they can carry out training programmes within their facilities. We work through NECA, engage them and shortlist them to provide training for our youths,” the DG explained.

In her remarks, the Project Director, ITF-NECA Technical Skills Development Project, Mrs. Helen Jemerigbe, noted that prospects for employment under the skills programme were very high.

“The skills being addressed by the project were identified through a survey. The programme is so big that we need so many more Nigerians to participate in it,” she said.

Currently the ITF is in the process of finalising the first National Skills Gap Assessment survey for the country, in partnership with the United Nations Development Organisation. It is a nationawide skills gap assessment to first uncover what skills are lacking in the labour force, what skills are needed by employers in the market now and what skills will be needed in the future.

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